A THUG who viciously attacked his girlfriend with a corkscrew and a plank of wood has been jailed for eight years.

Police found Helen Midgley-Bryant lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the home she shared with partner Luke Dowdle in the early hours of January 4 this year.

They had been called to the scene by the couple’s neighbours, who had heard Miss Midgley-Bryant screaming for help.

Before 38-year-old Dowdle was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court, Judge Samuel Wiggs heard officers found the victim “covered in blood” and badly injured.

Prosecuting, Kerry Maylin said: “The victim’s hair was matted with blood and her clothes were blood-stained.

“The walls were heavily blood-stained also in the hallway and in the bathroom. As officers entered the building, Miss Midgley-Bryant screamed, ‘He’s done this. He’s tried to kill me’.”

The victim suffered a wound two-and-a-half centimetres deep on her head, exposing her skull, injuries to her neck and lacerations all over her body.

Police recovered two knives, a broken pair of scissors, the blade of a knife, a plank of wood and a corkscrew from the house in Paddington Grove, Bournemouth.

Although Dowdle was originally charged with attempted murder, it was downgraded to grievous bodily harm with intent after the victim said she wouldn’t support the prosecution.

However, she told police that the assault continued for “a considerable length of time”, adding that she thought she “wouldn’t survive it”.

Robert Grey, mitigating, said Dowdle had admitted his guilt, “sparing” his victim the horror of reliving her ordeal in the witness box.

But the defendant’s previous convictions, which included an attack on a former partner, made him a “high risk” to women with whom he is in a relationship, Judge Wiggs said.

“I have seen photographs of the flat in which the assault took place and it is no exaggeration to say it’s covered in blood and a scene of devastation,” he said.

He added that Dowdle had inflicted “truly horrific” injuries on his partner, most of which were caused by the corkscrew, including the most serious wound on her neck.

“It is impossible to calculate how many injuries there are,” he said. “Almost no part of her body was uninjured.”

Dowdle was sentenced to eight years behind bars, with an extension of five years, during which he will be supervised.


• Dowdle's previous convictions

Dowdle’s previous convictions include assault occasioning actual bodily harm against a previous long-term partner.

“In January 2011, you assaulted your then-partner,” Judge Wiggs said.

“The circumstances are extremely serious. In the course of the assault you dragged her by the hair towards an open balcony on the second floor, saying many times, ‘You’re going over’. You banged her head against the floor. She was screaming and said she thought she was going to die.

“You were given 12 months in prison. The relationship came to an end and in October 2012 you were sentenced for common assault on your subsequent partner. You committed a further assault against her in July 2013.”

Mr Grey, mitigating, said Dowdle had committed “only one or two” offences against the woman during the course of their 17-year relationship.